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Award Notification - Graduate Students

Your eligibility for a financial aid award can be determined:

  • After we receive the results of your FAFSA or CA DREAM Application
  • After you have been admitted to CSULB
  • After you have completed all items on your To-Do List
  • After your Satisfactory Academic Progress has been reviewed (Current Students)

 

Timing of Award Notice

Award notifications are sent by email, to the email address on file with CSULB.  You should check the settings on your email to be sure messages from the following CSULB and Financial Aid addresses are not blocked:

The timing of your award notice depends on your status:

Newly Admitted Students:

Once you have been admitted to CSULB  you will receive an award notification email – provided your financial aid application information has been received by our office and all requested documents have been submitted & reviewed.  Notifications are sent on a weekly basis as we receive information.

  • Students admitted for the Fall semester – award notifications are sent beginning the first week of April.
  • Students admitted for the Spring semester – award notifications are sent beginning the second week of October.

Current CSULB Students:

  • Financial Aid award notifications are sent out to current CSULB students beginning in late June, after SAP evaluations are completed. 

Once you have submitted all requested documents, and are determined to meet SAP eligibility requirements, you will receive an email directing you to view your Financial Aid Summary on MyCSULB.  Notifications are sent on a weekly basis as we receive information.

While our award process for current students does not begin until June, we will post a Temporary Fee Deferment for the Fall semester to those students who meet eligibility requirements.

The Temporary Fee Deferment lets you register as scheduled, and protects your classes from being dropped until our awarding process is complete. This helps ensure you have access to the classes that will meet your academic needs and keep you on track towards timely completion of your program.

Be sure to review our Fee Deferment page for more information.

Your Award Notice & Summary

You will receive an email notification when your Official Financial Aid Award Offer is available. Award Offers are only available for viewing online at MyCSULB, under “Award Summary.”

Your Award Summary on MyCSULB lists all the sources of financial aid you are eligible to receive for the academic year, as well as a term/semester specific breakdown of your awards.  Your financial aid package is designed to help make your CSU Long Beach education more affordable; and was calculated based on Federal, California State, and CSU Long Beach institutional guidelines.  We have considered your eligibility for grants, loans, and part-time employment.  Detailed information on each type of award offered to you can be found under Graduate Aid Programs.

For step-by-step instructions on viewing your Award Summary (including screenshots) review the View My Financial Aid and Scholarships guide.

Use your Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to Understand Your Package (FAFSA Filers only)

After viewing your financial aid awards, be sure to review your Financial Aid Shopping Sheet in MyCSULB.  The Shopping Sheet provides you with a personalized overview of your projected costs and financial aid awards at CSU Long Beach.  You can print the Shopping Sheet and use it as a tool in evaluating your resources and planning how to meet your college expenses. 

If you are receiving additional funding from other sources, such as scholarships from non-CSULB sources, we are required by the Federal and California State Student Aid Regulations to consider these resources when determining your awards. If all sources of funding do not show on your award offer, you must notify our office in writing of the amount and source of the award.

Students Admitted to EdD/DPT Programs

The award offer you receive is for the Fall and Spring semesters – it does not include financial aid for the Summer semester. 

If you are in the EdD or the DPT Program, and plan to attend the Summer semester, Financial aid may be available for the Summer – but requires completion of a separate process. 

Review the Information Guide for your program, which details the process, and required documents, for requesting financial aid for the Summer semester.

The Summer semester at CSULB is considered to be part of the previous academic year.  Eligibility for financial aid for the Summer will be limited to:

  • Unused portion of your Direct Unsubsidized Loan from the previous Fall & Spring semesters
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (requires credit-approval)
  • Program Specific Grants
  • Private Loans 

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet (FAFSA Only)

Your Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is designed to help you understand the cost of attending CSULB, and provide you with your options for covering any costs not covered by grants or scholarships.   By using the Shopping Sheet as a guide to your Award Summary on MyCSULB, you will get a clearer picture of how the awards you’ve been offered can be used to help you achieve your educational goals at “The Beach.” 

To view your Shopping Sheet, click on the Shopping Sheet button in the top right corner of the Award Summary page (on MyCSULB).

Understanding What Your Costs Are

It’s important to understand the various costs that go into the “sticker price” of college. Tuition and fees are paid directly to CSULB, but are only a part of your total education costs.  You also have to budget for room and board (housing and food), books, and transportation. Your Shopping Sheet shows your estimated costs for these items – and provides your total estimated cost of attendance for one year at CSULB. 

Keep in mind that these estimated amounts will probably differ from the amount you actually pay, as these expenses are not paid directly to CSULB.  You have some control over what your actual costs may be based on the choices you make.

  1. Determining Your “Out of Pocket” Expenses:

Financial Aid Awards:
While your estimated cost of attendance may be intimidating at first look, the average student at CSU Long Beach often pays considerably less than the published amounts. There are numerous forms of financial aid that can offset costs and make college more affordable.

  • Grants and Scholarships are financial aid awards that do not have to be paid back or earned.  You must meet eligibility requirements (either federal, CA State, or CSULB), and any of these FREE awards that you are eligible for are listed on your Shopping Sheet.  

If you are receiving a scholarship from an organization outside of CSULB, it may not be listed on your current Shopping Sheet.  Be sure to notify our office so that we can update your award offer and your Shopping Sheet to reflect these awards.

  • NET Cost Your Net Cost is generally your estimated COA minus any grants and scholarships that you’ve been awarded.  This figure represents the amount of your educational expenses that you and your family will need to cover during the academic year.

*Remember that your Net Cost will include our estimated amounts for those expenses that you don’t pay directly to CSULB.  You have the ability to reduce your actual Net Cost based upon your choices related to your transportation, books & supplies, and housing. 

  1. What Options are Available to Cover Your “Out Of Pocket” Expenses
    Work-study and federal loans are considered to be “Self-Help” aid, and can be used to help cover your net costs.  Additionally, you may choose to use savings or other family resources to cover any remaining gap.
  • Work-Study is a federal program that helps student earn financial funding through part-time work at the university.  Earnings are not automatically credited to your student account; instead a paycheck is issued and can be used for personal expenses, books and supplies.
  • Federal Loans – Most graduate students borrow a loan as part of their financial aid package.  Not working, or working a moderate amount, and using your student loan can help you keep your focus on your studies & education goals.    Loans will help pay for your tuition bill right away.  The Federal Direct Loans offered to you come with low interest rates and favorable repayment options.  They also don’t require a credit check or collateral.  If you think you need less money than what was offered, follow the directions to accept a lesser amount.

How Your Awards Were Determined

If you missed the priority filing deadline, or did not respond promptly to items on your To-Do List, your financial aid is likely to be limited to any loans you are eligible for (even if met all other grant eligibility). 

You may also be approaching the award limits for student loans – which will impact the amount offered to you. 

Awards offered are based on the information you submitted on your financial aid application (either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application) – and may consist of grants, scholarships, loans, and/or federal work study – depending on your eligibility.

The basic calculation used to determine your financial aid eligibility is:

  Cost of Attendance (COA) (estimated costs to attend CSULB during the 9-month academic year)
– Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (a calculation of how much you and your family are expected to contribute throughout the academic year to help pay for your educational expenses.
– Other Financial Resources (private scholarships, fee waivers, etc.)
= Financial Need 
(Your maximum eligibility for need-based aid)

While your Financial Need represents the maximum amount of aid you are eligible to receive based on your costs and your financial resources, the amount of aid that you will actually be awarded depends on the financial aid funds available in any given year.

The basic items used in determining your financial aid award offer can be viewed on MyCSULB.

  • FAFSA Filers:  You can view your EFC, COA budget, and Financial Need by accessing your Financial Aid Shopping Sheet from the Award Summary Page.
  • Dream Act Filers: You can view your EFC, COA budget, and Financial Need used in determining your award package on by accessing the relevant screens on MyCSULB – refer to the View My Financial Aid & Scholarships guide for instructions.

Other factors impacting the amount and type of financial aid you are offered include:

  • Timing of your application Timing of response to requests for additional documents to complete your file Your willingness to accept various types of financial aid (as indicated by you on your application)
  • The availability of funds Your eligibility for certain awards based on award “lifetime” limits

Remember, financial aid programs were created with the idea that the primary responsibility for paying for costs related to graduate school rests with the student. The amount of aid for which you are eligible depends on your financial circumstances and resources, as well as your remaining eligibility for certain aid programs.

Verify Your Information

Awards offered are based on the information you submitted on your financial aid application (either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application), as well as the information on file at CSULB.  Be sure the information being used in determining your eligibility is accurate:

  • Is your housing status accurate?
  • Is your CA Residency status accurate?
  • Does your Award Summary reflect any benefits, scholarships, or other outside awards you will be receiving? 
  • Does your Award Summary reflect your planned enrollment (Fall Only, Spring Only, or Full year)

To correct any errors, and to provide our office with any new information, contact us by phone or visit us in-person during regular business hours.

Accepting Your Awards (REQUIRED)

After viewing your Financial Aid Award Summary, you will need to take action on your awards before they can be finalized and applied towards your CSULB charges (you can either accept or decline your awards).

  • Accept/Decline My Awards 

    For step-by-step instructions on accepting (or declining) your awards (including screenshots) review the Accept/Decline Awards guide.

If you are not sure if you want to accept a particular award, such as a loan, you may delay making a decision on that award until later.  Please note, however, that some awards have limited funding available.  Delaying your acceptance of awards (other than Direct Loans) may subject the award to cancellation in the event funding is depleted.

  • Accepting Loans

    If you have been offered a loan as part of your award offer, you are not required to accept the maximum amount offered. You may choose to either accept the full amount, a lesser amount, or decline the loan. Refer to the Accept/Decline Awards guide for details.

Additional steps are required for loan borrowers.  Visit Information for Loan Borrowers for details.

Adjustments to Initial Awards

Adjustments to your financial aid offer may happen for a number of reasons. The most common reasons for award revisions include:

  •  Your budget may have been revised because of a recently submitted Appeal, a change in housing status, or a correction to your residency status.
  •  You recently requested, and were approved for a Graduate PLUS Loan.
  •  Fee waivers, department awards, or outside agency awards were recently reported to our office, triggering a revision to your offer. 
  •  You are enrolled less than full time in eligible coursework at Census

Understanding the Changes
You will receive an email notification if your financial aid awards change. The email will direct you to review your Award Summary on MyCSULB where you can view your updated awards.

Remember . . .
We recommend that you save an electronic or printed copy of your financial aid award summary any time there is a change. Keeping a record of the awards you received may help you for future reference.

Requests for Re-Evaluation of Aid Awards

If you think some aspect of your financial situation was overlooked that would affect an evaluation of your need, contact our office by phone – or come in to meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss your situation, and available options.  We may be able to re-evaluate your financial aid eligibility based on your current financial situation.  The most common examples of situations resulting in a re-evaluation include:

  • A Significant Change in Income or Resources
  • Divorce or Separation (after filing the FAFSA)
  • Death of a Spouse
  • Dependent Care Expenses
  • A Large Unforeseen Medical Expense
  • Additional costs not reflected in standard COA budget

Appeals are typically reviewed within 10-15 business days; however, the workload in our office when you file your appeal will determine the actual review and response time.

The deadline for submitting all appeals is three weeks prior to the end of the academic year for which you are appealing your aid. 

Income Revision Appeal:

We understand that many students experience significant changes in income or family situations that are not reflected in the base-year income used to determine the student’s expected family contribution.  Admitted or current CSULB students who can document extenuating financial or personal circumstances should contact our office for information about submitting an Income Revision Appeal to appeal their financial aid decision.

Our counselors can help with an appeal process that will allow us to evaluate the impact of your special circumstances on your ability to pay for college.

The appeal process is available beginning in February – prior to when the awarding process begins. You do not have to have been awarded in order to submit an appeal; however, if your application has been selected for verification by either Federal Student Aid or the California Student Aid Commission, you must first submit all required documents before your appeal can be reviewed by our office.

All actions resulting from the appeal process are contingent upon fund availability and any processing deadlines which may be in effect at the time of approval.

Please note:  The majority of Income Revision Appeals for graduate students do not result in a change in types of aid offered.  This is because there are only a few types of aid based on income for graduate students (State University Grant, Program Specific Grants). 

Budget (COA) Revision Appeal

If you have special circumstances that you believe warrant a reevaluation of your COA budget, you should discuss your situation with a member of our office to determine if you may be eligible to file a Budget Revision Appeal.

The most common circumstances that result in a student being eligible for a budget recalculation are:

  • Non-Resident Tuition fees in excess of the amount assumed in the standard COA budget
  • Computer Purchase (one-time during academic program)
  • Housing Expenses in excess of the amount allotted in the standard COA budget
  • Expenses for books & supplies, or Special Projects related to your program (that are in excess of the amount already assumed in the standard COA budget).

The Budget Appeal process is available beginning in July. Documentation to substantiate your budget revision request is required and must be submitted with the Budget Revision Appeal.  

Budget Appeals result in increased loan eligibility only (Direct Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate PLUS, and/or Private Loans).